Notices of Appraised Value will hit the mail this week. There is a lot of information on the notice which can be very confusing. This is not a deliberate attempt to frustrate taxpayers but rather an attempt to comply with the laws of the State of Texas. First, check the name and address on the notice to make sure they are correct. If not, contact the Mason County Appraisal District office and give them the correct information. This will ensure that future mailings will be addressed correctly. Next, look at the proposed value for 2011. That is the value which will be submitted to the taxing jurisdictions as the basis for their tax levy. The previous year information is also provided and can be helpful in detecting an error. The % increase for the previous five years exists only to incite and confuse but is required by law. The only instance where it has relevance is when the characteristics of the property have not changed for the five preceding years.Make sure you are receiving all exemptions to which you are entitled and check the calculations where they are applied. These include homesteads, disabilities, appraisal caps, over-65 homesteads, disabled veterans and special valuation for agricultural use, all of which affect your taxable value.The calculations for the estimated taxes are a bit misleading. They are derived using the proposed 2011 taxable value and the 2010 tax rates so they are only an estimate. When our office delivers the certified values to the taxing jurisdictions, they begin the process of setting the current year tax rates which are used in calculating tax statements for 2011.Included with your notice of value will be a page of taxpayer rights and remedies along with information on protesting your values. You have thirty days from the date of mailing to file a protest. The last day to file a protest is printed on the notice. If you have concerns about your value, please contact our office as soon as possible. Usually, solutions can be reached informally and without filing a formal protest. This is your opportunity to help us get things right. An informal resolution of your concerns helps save money, time and stress. If an agreement cannot be reached we will gladly assist you in filing a formal protest and set a time for you to meet with the Appraisal Review Board.Property with improvements, whose value is not reflected in this notice, must be reported to the district to avoid back assessment plus penalty and interest. Property with improvements which have been removed since the last notice should also be reported so you are not assessed taxes on something that does not exist. All taxes are based as of January 1st and a lien is attached by the State of Texas. That lien is released each year when the taxes are paid.If you own property in Mason County and did not receive a notice, please contact our office. It will certainly save you considerable grief and could save you some money. Having the appraisal records correct helps us all.Please call our office with any questions or concerns you might have. The contact numbers are on the notice. We are here to assist you in all matters concerning your appraised values.